Myanmar protesters use handmade guns, firebombs against troopsavril 8, 2021
MYANMAR: Anti-coup demonstrators in Myanmar fought back with handmade guns and firebombs against a crackdown by security forces in a town in the north-west, but at least 11 protesters were killed, domestic media reported yesterday.
Initially, six truckloads of troops were deployed to quell protesters in the town of Taze, the Myanmar Now and Irrawaddy news outlets said.
When the protesters fought back with handmade guns, knives and firebombs, five more truckloads of troops were brought in.
Fighting continued into yesterday morning and at least 11 protesters were killed and about 20 wounded, the media said.
There was no word of any casualties among the soldiers.
That would take the toll of civilians killed by security forces to over 600 since the junta seized power from the elected government of Ms Aung San Suu Kyi on Feb 1, according to the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (AAPP).
Taze is near the town of Kale, where at least 12 people were killed in a similar clash between troops and protesters on Wednesday, according to news media and witnesses. Security forces fired live rounds, grenades and machine guns on protesters, AAPP said.
“Taze and Kale have many hunters in the jungle,” said resident and youth activist Hein Min Hteik. “They have handmade firearms. And now they came out with their weapons in order to protect the locals, while the people were under attack by the junta.”
Meanwhile, diplomats loyal to Myanmar’s junta have seized the country’s embassy in London, leaving the ambassador locked out in the street after he called for the release of Ms Suu Kyi.
The ambassador, Mr Kyaw Zwar Minn, said on Wednesday that defence attache Chit Win had taken over the mission in “a kind of coup”, an extraordinary diplomatic standoff that comes two months after the military seized power in Myanmar.
In a statement read out yesterday on behalf of the ambassador by Mr Min Hein, a member of the Myanmar community in London, said they had been waiting for a formal response from the British government.
“We have also learnt that Chit Win’s team is threatening the embassy staff with severe punishment if those staff do not continue to work for the military junta,” Mr Min Hein added.
Britain confirmed yesterday that it could no longer recognise Myanmar’s ambassador in London, after the ruling junta issued formal notification that he had been withdrawn for supporting the deposed government.
Sources said the British government, in line with diplomatic policy, had to accede to the junta’s decision. – REUTERS, AFP